De Beque, CO
De Beque is a Statutory Town in Mesa County, Colorado, United States. It is part of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 451 at the 2000 census. The town consists of a small grid, including a historic downtown featuring a town hall, a tavern, and several commercial businesses in historic structures. The surrounding streets include houses, several churches, and a school.
The town is located in a region historically occupied by the Ute people. White settlers arrived in the region in 1880. The town is named for Dr. W.A.E. De Beque who explored the area with several companions in 1884 while looking for a suitable location for a ranch. The town was historically a location where wild horses, prevalent in the surrounding lands, were rounded up and sold. The history of the town is commemorated with a mustang statue near the town hall. In August 2001, the Town Board of Trustees designated De Beque as the only Wild Horse Sanctuary City in the West. The town now undertakes projects in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, as well as private organizations, to protect the remaining wild horses and burros in the area. Such measures include the construction of a public corral for the care of injured and sick mustangs and burros awaiting adoption. Each August the town hosts a "Wild Horse Days" featuring a rodeo and parade.
The town sits along the north side of the Colorado River upstream from De Beque Canyon in a small ranching valley approximately 25 miles (40 km) northeast and upstream from Grand Junction. It is located across the river from Interstate 70, on a small hill overlooking the river. The southwest edge of the Roan Cliffs overlook the town from the northeast. Much of the surrounding area in the mountains is controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.